Being interviewed for the job of village manager for Ryman Healthcare’s newly-named Miriam Corban Retirement Village in the middle of a global pandemic was pretty unusual, says Greg Barclay.
“I went through the whole process with the management team but we couldn’t meet because of Covid so there were a lot of Zoom calls,” he says. “That was very interesting!”
A big help for Greg was the fact he knew firsthand how true Ryman works to their philosophy of providing care that’s ‘good enough for mum or dad’ – he’s seen it in practice himself over the past five years since his own mum and dad moved into Edmund Hillary Retirement Village in Remuera.
“My understanding was from the other side, having seen what Ryman did and appreciated the care my dad got.
“And then there’s the activities and friendships they’ve made and how secure and safe they felt, especially during the Covid-19 situation.
“I was so impressed with the care packages and weekly Happy Hour type things Ryman provided. My mum couldn’t speak highly enough of what they did for residents.”
When he saw the village manager opportunity come up Greg was excited to work in a village in his beloved west Auckland.
“I know the area and what the west has to offer in terms of different facilities. I’ve played rugby at Waitemata for a number of years and have lived in Te Atatu South, Henderson and then West Harbour for the last 25 years.”
And having worked in hospitality for most of his career he was ready for something that offered a different focus.
“I worked at the Lincoln Green Hotel and have done two terms with WATS (West Auckland Trust Services). I also worked with gaming machines and for the last seven years I’ve been with McDonald’s with the last couple as operations manager for the company-owned stores.
“I figured after alcohol, gaming and fast food it was time to give back – otherwise I’ll get to the pearly gates and He’ll say that’s three strikes, you’re out!” he laughs.
Greg recently met the first residents-to-be at the move-in briefing and having seen how some of Ryman’s other recently-opened villages are going he can’t wait for the new community of staff and residents at Lincoln Road to start growing.
“From what I’ve seen at the other villages the residents become like extended family and there is genuine care and affection.
“You become your own little community, and I really like that.”